This report provides the recommended updates to phosphorus load targets for Lake Erie, based on several models and consideration of other factors that affect Lake Erie water quality.
The Lake Erie Protection & Restoration Plan 2016 reflects the state of Ohio’s priorities to protect, preserve and restore Lake Erie. The purpose of the plan is to identify the state’s strategic direction for Lake Erie and the Lake Erie watershed to achieve established environmental, recreational, and economic goals.
The extent and severity of algal blooms in the Western Lake Erie Basin (WLEB) are correlated with the amount of nutrients (nutrient load) entering the WLEB from the Maumee River. Measurements of nutrient concentrations in the Maumee River are collected by Heidelberg University and combined with USGS measurements of Maumee River flow to calculate daily nutrient loads.
The Great Lakes Observing System (GLOS) provides a HABs Data Portal in collaboration with a suite of western Lake Erie partners. In this initial stage, the page provides access to real-time data from stations around the Western Lake Erie Basin, including measurements of temperature, specific conductivity, turbidity, pH, chlorophyll and blue green algae. Upcoming enhancements will add access to grab sample data, satellite imagery, hydrodynamic model results, and meteorological observations.
Heidelberg University’s National Center for Water Quality Research collects and analyzes approximately 450-500 water samples for pollutants at each monitoring station each year. From that information it calculates annual pollutant loads from each station and the loads of nutrients, sediments and pesticides delivered to Lake Erie or the Ohio River.
The role of the Ohio Lake Erie Commission is to preserve Lake Erie’s natural resources, to protect the quality of its waters and ecosystem, and to promote economic development of the region by ensuring the coordination of policies and programs of state government pertaining to water quality, toxic substances, and coastal resource management. Their website provides a variety of information and links of the health of Lake Erie.
Lake Erie Algae is a website produced by Heidelberg University that provides history of water quality in Lake Erie. The site also describes the causes of HABs and initiatives to reduce nutrient loading to Lake Erie.
The University of Michigan is completing a modeling project to characterize nutrient loads to the Detroit River and then compare the efficacy of different management options.
NOAA's Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab (GLERL) compiled information on their modeling and research on HABs and hypoxia.